Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Monday, 9 March 2015

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The appellants entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 3.01 p.m.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  So good afternoon, everybody.

 7             Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  This is case number

 9     IT-08-91-A, the Prosecutor versus Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Zupljanin.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  Let's start with appearances.  Could I

11     now please have the appearances for the Prosecution.

12             MR. MENON:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  For the Prosecution,

13     Aditya Menon, Todd Schneider, and our Case Manager Colin Nawrot.  Thank

14     you.

15             JUDGE AGIUS:  I thank you.

16             Appearances for appellant Stanisic.

17             MR. BOURGON:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Good afternoon to

18     everyone in and around the courtroom.  Representing Mr. Stanisic this

19     afternoon, Stephane Bourgon.  Thank you, Mr. President.

20             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

21             Appearances for appellant Zupljanin.

22             MR. KRGOVIC:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.

23             JUDGE AGIUS:  Good afternoon.

24             MR. KRGOVIC:  Dragan Krgovic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.

25             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

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 1             Before we proceed, I want to make sure that all the parties can

 2     hear and follow the proceedings in a language that they understand.

 3             Mr. Stanisic, are you able to follow the proceedings in a

 4     language that you understand?

 5             THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

 7             Mr. Zupljanin, same question to you.  Are you able to follow the

 8     proceedings in a language that you understand?

 9             THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.  Thank you.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

11             Now, this Status Conference is called in accordance with

12     Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal.

13     Rule 65 bis, sub-rule (B), requires a Status Conference to be convened

14     within 120 days after the filing of a Notice of Appeal and thereafter

15     within 120 days after the last Status Conference.  The idea is to allow

16     any person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to raise issues in

17     relation thereto, the mental and physical condition of that person.

18             In the present case, the parties filed their notices of appeal on

19     13 May 2013, and the first Status Conference was held on the

20     4th of September, 2013.

21             The second to fifth Status Conferences were held on the

22     11th December 2013, 9th April 2014, 24th July 2014, and 12th November,

23     respectively.

24             Today's Status Conference is the sixth in this case.  It was

25     initially scheduled for the 6th of March, 2015, pursuant to an order

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 1     signed by me and issued on the 29th of January, 2015.  However, following

 2     an urgent confidential motion from the Stanisic Defence, the Status

 3     Conference was rescheduled for today.

 4             The detention conditions and health of Mr. Stanisic and

 5     Mr. Zupljanin.

 6             I would first of all like to inquire into the status of the

 7     detention conditions and health situations of Mr. Stanisic and

 8     Mr. Zupljanin.

 9             Mr. Stanisic, if you have any concerns or submissions to make in

10     relation to the conditions of your detention or your state of health, I

11     would invite you to raise them now.  And if you prefer, this discussion

12     can take place in private session.

13             THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we don't

14     need to go into private session.  There are no significant changes.

15     Everything is in accordance with my age, and the health condition is also

16     appropriate to my age.  Nothing special.  Nothing that I need to raise is

17     an issue at the moment.

18             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  Thank you, Mr. Stanisic.

19             Mr. Zupljanin, same question, and same advisory.  If you have

20     something to say which you prefer to say in private session, please let

21     me know.

22             THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is

23     no need to go into private session.  There is nothing that I can boast,

24     as the saying goes, but it is difficult.  Prison is difficult by itself.

25     Months, days, and years go by.  This is the seventh year that I have been

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 1     in detention, and I can tell you that it's not at all easy.  Though, we

 2     don't have any objections to the health service, no objections to the

 3     personnel at the DU, but the prison takes its toll.  You can see that by

 4     ourselves from the day when we arrived to this day, and who knows how

 5     long all that is going to last.

 6             So shortly, it's not easy and it's very difficult for us.  Thank

 7     you.

 8             JUDGE AGIUS:  I thank you, Mr. Zupljanin.  I can assure you that

 9     we are doing our utmost to make it last as little as possible, subject,

10     of course, to the ultimate decision to be taken by the Appeals Chamber.

11             So I thank you both.

12             And I will deal now with the recent procedural history.  Before

13     we turn to any issues that the parties may wish to raise, I will now

14     outline the recent procedural history of this case, focusing on many

15     public decisions and orders issued since the last Status Conference held

16     on the 12th of November, 2014.

17             As I have said before, even though this information is known by

18     the parties and by their counsel, one of the purposes of a Status

19     Conference is to inform the public in general, the people outside this

20     Tribunal, of what is happening in any particular case.  In our case, the

21     current appeal.

22             First, with regard to the composition of the Appeals Chamber

23     seized of the present case, I recall that on the 11th of February, 2015,

24     the President of the Tribunal appointed Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov to

25     replace Judge Patrick Robinson on the Bench.  As the parties may be

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 1     aware, Judge Robinson has been elected as judge to the International

 2     Court of Justice, and I take this opportunity to publicly congratulate

 3     him.

 4             Next I recall that on the 9th of September, 2014, Mr. Stanisic

 5     filed a second motion pursuant to the Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure

 6     and Evidence, seeking admission of his testimony in the Karadzic case as

 7     additional evidence on appeal.  The Appeals Chamber, Judge Afande

 8     dissenting, dismissed the motion in a decision issued on the

 9     11th of February, 2015.

10             Finally, as noted earlier, on the 26th of February, 2015, the

11     Stanisic Defence filed a confidential motion to reschedule the

12     Status Conference that had previously been scheduled for the

13     6th of March, 2015.  The Appeals Chamber, there being no opposition,

14     granted the motion in a public decision, signed by me and issued on the

15     2nd of March, that is, a few days ago, 2015, and rescheduled this

16     Status Conference for today.

17             And this concludes my summary of the recent procedural history of

18     this case.

19             Now I come to basically the last part of today's agenda; namely,

20     issues that the parties may wish to raise, and at this point I am going

21     to ask the parties whether they have any issues that they would like to

22     raise, starting with the Prosecution.

23             MR. MENON:  Your Honour, the Prosecution would simply renew its

24     request, the request that was made at the prior Status Conference, that

25     the parties be given two months' notice of the date of the appeal hearing

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 1     in this case.  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes.  I'll come to it soon.  I'll just see what, if

 3     anything, the Defence counsel have to say.

 4             Would you like to raise any issues, Mr. Bourgon?

 5             MR. BOURGON:  Yes, Mr. President.  I would like at this time to

 6     take this opportunity to the express my apologies both to yourself and to

 7     everyone in the courtroom for the rescheduling of this Status Conference.

 8     The reason being is, of course, the role of a co-counsel is to be ready

 9     for battle if the lead counsel goes down.  Unfortunately, I was away and

10     it was just impossible for me to return in time.  I even tried to see to

11     look at the possibility of having a video conference.  It was just not

12     possible where I was, so I take this opportunity to express my apologies.

13             Thank you, Mr. President.

14             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  I appreciate that, Mr. Bourgon.  But no

15     need for apologies.  I think everything was presented as transparent --

16     in as transparent manner as possible, and the Appeals Chamber - myself,

17     in particular - I'm glad we could accommodate everyone without serious

18     complications.

19             Mr. Krgovic.

20             MR. KRGOVIC:  Nothing from us, Your Honour.

21             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Thank you.

22             Just to make sure, Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Zupljanin, do you wish to

23     take the floor and raise any issues which your counsel have not raised or

24     which you have not discussed with your counsel and which you would like

25     to communicate to me?

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 1             THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no

 2     questions.

 3             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Zupljanin.

 4             THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Neither do I,

 5     Your Honour.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

 7             Now coming to the point raised by you, Mr. Menon.  I was

 8     anticipating this, obviously, and I checked what I promised you during

 9     the previous Status Conference of the 12th of November.  The situation

10     remains the same in the sense that you have my commitment that you will

11     have a fair, good, and sufficient advance notice when to expect the

12     hearing.

13             To update you, not just you but also Defence counsel, Defence

14     teams, the situation has worsened a little bit since the last

15     Status Conference because, basically, the P5 that was appointed to

16     supervise the case way back in July, August of last year went out on sick

17     leave, and he was genuinely sick.  He took longer than I expected to

18     recover and come back.  When that was obvious, I asked for a temporary

19     replacement, which the President kindly granted.  But the temporary

20     replacement that I got was very temporary in the sense that I got a P5

21     who was P5 for Prlic, a P5 also looking over the Seselj case, and

22     therefore I had a P5 also helping me in -- in this appeal but

23     triple-hatting, I mean.  So it was -- in addition, I mean, just to make

24     it even worse, she gave everything she could for this case and we

25     advanced pretty well, but she has also left the Tribunal now.

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 1             And it's over a month -- I can't remember exactly when she left,

 2     but it's well over a month now, and I have not had a replacement.  I was

 3     promised a P4 on practically a full-time basis, but that did not

 4     materialise because this person was also and still is intimately involved

 5     and extensively involved in another appeal, so won't be available

 6     full-time, really, until the end of this month or the first -- end of

 7     first week of next month.

 8             So that has been my predicament.  Yet, I must publicly

 9     acknowledge that my staff, decimated as it is, and headless - I mean,

10     there is no one really at P4 level that -- or P5 level that is ultimately

11     responsible - has worked wonders, and the drafting is fairly advanced.

12     But the reviewing of the drafts will take time and won't happen until I

13     have the proper people in place, and that may take another month.

14             In the meantime, I have taken steps to boost up the staff, the

15     drafting team, and that again should happen by the end of this month or

16     beginning of the next.

17             But ultimately, the bottom line is that if -- in November I was

18     thinking that the hearing would be slightly before the -- they would

19     happen slightly before the recess, the summer recess, I am very

20     pessimistic now.  So I think the prep doc should be distributed before

21     the recess but the hearing will only happen after the recess.

22             However, the situation as such has still got to crystallise, and

23     I should be able to give you more precise information as we go along.

24     However, don't expect any hearing within the next two months or three

25     months at least.

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 1             One other thing is that my expectations were that the case would

 2     finish this year.  However, that will not be possible.  We're doing our

 3     utmost to finish it as early as we can.  As I said, this case has

 4     suffered from circumstances which were completely beyond my control and

 5     my colleagues' control.  Hopefully, I am gradually trying to remedy

 6     things.  However, it's not easy because the time through which the

 7     Tribunal itself is passing is difficult.  I mean, we are losing staff.

 8     It's difficult to find alternative staff.  It's difficult.  So --

 9     however, I do have solutions in sight and I am hopeful.  But you will

10     receive further information along the line, okay?  Thank you.

11             Any further questions?

12             MR. MENON:  No.  Thank you, Your Honour, for the update.

13             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

14             Nothing from the Defence?  No.  All right.

15             So that concludes today's Status Conference.  I thank you once

16     more for being punctual and for having done your utmost to attend, and

17     we'll meet again in 120 days' time for the next Status Conference.  Thank

18     you.

19                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

20                           at 3.20 p.m.